Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought in her wildest nightmares that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her-one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.
The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna's father. Skilled and steadfast, he's ready for the prophesied Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and mutant dogs attack-vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.
When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion-a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.
And here is Kristi's review:
Nightfall was a surprise from the usual zombie apocalyptic fare. When I read the blurb it didn't sound fantastic but I wanted to broaden my horizons with these RITA nominated books, so I went ahead and succumbed to the $9.99 agency/hard cover pricing and sent this book straight to my Kindle app. (Readers: be warned that the price is now $12.99 for this e-book!) I continue to be surprised and pleased by the fantastic world building that a lot of the authors I have read lately are dreaming up. As I read the first few chapters, it was exciting to be able to experience the slow unfolding of the 'Dark Age of Dawning' as the world ends.
It felt like an exciting movie as you learned about the world slowing ending as technology is failing and cars won't start. Starting over in Eastern Europe and slowly spreading to the east coast of the United States and beyond, you slowly learn small details of what is coming. Many of the people on the west coast don't know what is happening because new governments are starting up and preventing the spread of information, even as technology barely works. I really wanted more information here. I love that type of stuff but it almost wasn't enough for me, I wanted to shake Jenna and tell her to wise up, figure out what's going on, and protect herself!
However, her estranged Father, Mitch, had a plan to protect her. He met Mason years ago and arranged for Mason to protect Jenna if Mitch was unable to. Mason had been out east with Mitch and knew what was coming so in the interest of time, he just found Jenna and straight up kidnapped her. This is where I felt the back cover blurb didn't do this book much justice as the book unfolds slowly and realistically but the back cover really played up the father aspect. Anyway, Mason tosses her in the trunk of the car and takes off, really just in time, to get to his cabin and protect her from the 'demon dogs' that are coming.
Yes, I said demon dogs. That is where this book shines in the fact of there are no 'zombies' that we are familiar with. Instead we get a type of demon dog, which is fantastic, fresh, and new to me. These demon dogs are explored over the course of the book and quite a few things are found out as to their character, how they were created, and what they are going after. Five stars for this aspect.
While Jenna and Mason are enclosed in the cabin, a group of five strangers are running for their lives and Jenna makes the choice to give them safe haven. Together, they make some decisions on how they are going to live and start on a fascinating journey that will keep you turning the pages.
There is a lot of wonderful character development here. Tru, a teenage boy, is pretty spunky and has some fantastic one-liners but learns extremely quickly. Angela is watching over her young daughter, Penelope, who is very quiet and otherworldly. We also meet Dr Chris Welsh who helps the group find a safe place to live. The characters really go through some heavy stuff. I enjoyed watching all of them learn and grow. I was also shocked that the author really doesn't pull any punches with these guys either. Be prepared for some surprises. There is also a magical or mystical element that is introduced. I feel like the author really introduced this slowly and let me accept it as it showed up. I really appreciated that.
The ending kept me at the edge of my seat. It really reminded me of the 'Walking Dead' with some of the journey's they went on. I would have appreciated a little more time at the end. The action really heats up and then it ends and it left me wanting more. I checked Ellen Conner's GoodReads page after I ended the story and her next two novels are not directly about Jenna and Mason but the other secondary characters. I have to be honest, I have a hard time purchasing e-books at the $7.99 price, much less a $9.99 price point, so I am waiting on reading these next books until I hear more about the publishing settlement that everyone is talking about. (The publisher for Nightfall is Penguin Publishing.) Beyond that, I give this book a B+ or 4 stars. It was a solid read and I really enjoyed it.